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  J1: South East League. Friday, 23/11/12

Kilkenny                 03

Enniscorthy           34

by Padraic Treacy

Kilkenny welcomed Division 1A opponents, Enniscorthy to bitterly cold Foulkstown on Friday evening in the South East League. Kilkenny’s hopes of beating the Wexford-men by the required 45 points in order to advance to the latter stages of this competition were quickly dashed by their well-drilled and stronger opponent.

Coach Ashmore rested a number of his key players and used the opportunity to try out a number of prospective players for his ever improving First XV. The return of centres, Philly Walsh and Ger Flood was welcomed by the home fans and Leon Madigan, Diarmaid Hickey and Darren Bawle all contributed well to the overall performance of the pack.

Kilkenny defended and attacked superbly for the opening 30 minutes and were unlucky on a few occasions not to cross the try-line, however it was Enniscorthy who opened the scoring in the 30th minute through the boot of their No.12. Six minutes later they scored the opening try of the game and their No.12 was again on hand to add the conversion. With the half time score line reading 10-0 to the visitors, Kilkenny would have a lot of catching up to do.

Enniscorthy burst out of the starting blocks in the second half and with seven minutes played they scored their second converted try. Julian Hughes added Kilkenny’s only score of the game 3 minutes later maintaining his near perfect kicking record for the season so far.

Enniscorthy took control and in the 28th minute Kilkenny’s tough defence cracked and the visitors scored three tries in the closing twelve minutes to leave the full-time score 34 – 3 to the Wexford men.

Despite the score line, this was a good performance from Kilkenny and there were some good individual performances in particular from Leon Madigan and Diarmaid Hickey in the pack. Philly Walsh playing at centre made some very strong runs and may have booked himself a regular spot on the team.

Kilkenny are back in Leinster League action on Sunday when they travel to Malahide. A win here is vital if they are to have any hope of securing that promotion place to Division 1. Kick off in Malahide is 2.00pm.

Kilkenny Firsts: - Alan O’Donovan, Shane Raferty, Philly Walsh, Clive Grehan, Ger Flood, Julian Hughes, Clive Kavanagh , Willie Duggan, Ger Costello, Leon Madigan, Ray Pembroke, Diarmaid Hickey, Eddie Brennan, Martin Leahy, Darren Bawle.
Subs: - Simon O’Shea, James Blanchfield, Emmet Lynch, Ronan O’Donoghue, Victor Harper.

Player’s Awards Night:
Directly following the game against Enniscorthy on Friday night, the Firsts and Seconds Player of the Year Awards for the 2011/2012 season were held in the clubhouse.

Club President, John Kenna, welcomed the large gathering to the club in particular the family of the late George Williams and relayed apologies from the Mahony family who were, unfortunately, unable to attend the ceremony.

The George Williams Award for the First’s Player of the Year was presented to former club captain, Philip Ryan, while Leon Madigan picked up the Philip Mahony Award for best Seconds player. Both awards were presented to the winners by Louise Williams, wife of the late George Williams.

Kilkenny Rugby Club would like to convey a special thank you to Michelle and Orla Henebry for supplying the wonderful finger-food on the evening and to Trish Devlin for supplying the after match soup and sandwiches.